Penalties and restrictions for Small Ancestries when they wield large weapons: are there any?


Ancestries & Backgrounds


Hi everybody: I think that perhaps I'm really missing something. Do Small Ancestries have any restrictions or penalties about wielding large weapons or things like that? Now one of my players wants to create a mole - raider Gnome Paladin and I was looking for rules about that (yeahhh...great fun and really cool!). Many thanks!


So in the playtest the thing about inappropriate sized weapons is- you can't use them unless you have something that tells you that you can, and that will also tell you what penalties you suffer.

So a gnome who is a giant totem barbarian can use a large sized weapon, and like any giant totem barbarian will suffer sluggish 1 when doing so.

A goblin fighter cannot use a large weapon, or a medium one. But this is not a big deal since unlike in PF1, weapons no longer do more or less damage based on their size. So a human fighter with a longsword does 1d8 + StrMod and a goblin fighter with a longsword does 1d8+StrMod.

The only reason the aforementioned gnome barbarian would do extra damage with a large weapon is because the "titan mauler" ability says you do.


Based on my understanding, you didn't miss anything. There is no distinction between small and medium races in terms of what weapons they can use. A gnome can use a greatsword exactly as well as a half-orc. He'll still have problems with a large-sized creature's weapons, but only the same problems that the half-orc would also have.

And thank God they did this. I enjoy 5E, but I don't touch small size races on sheer principle due to how they have them interact with Heavy weapons.

Liberty's Edge

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Weapons of irregular size can currently only be used FLAT OUT by Barbarians of the Giant Totem.

Weapon Damage scaling for creature size has always been ripe for abuse and it only ever served the most munch-of-kin PCs.

This is one grave I am truly glad to never dig up again.


I also want to point out that you can get any kind of weapon or armor for any size category of person (but platemail for a kaiju will be prohibitively expensive). So a gnome with a greataxe is no big deal, it's just going to be a greataxe sized for a gnome.


Themetricsystem wrote:

Weapons of irregular size can currently only be used FLAT OUT by Barbarians of the Giant Totem.

Weapon Damage scaling for creature size has always been ripe for abuse and it only ever served the most munch-of-kin PCs.

This is one grave I am truly glad to never dig up again.

I disagree on so many levels.

As a GM, damage dice helped differentiate between weaker and stronger creatures and the types of attacks they had, and it's still used in PF2.

In my experience as a player, Vital Strike and similar damage dice "shenanigans" have always proved inferior to typical optimization tactics. In fact, the only real beneficiaries of damage dice is a wider range (and slightly higher average) of damage for those who can't get multiple attacks in. Why roll 4D8+6 when you can roll 1D8+30?


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"Managing weapon dice changing is a pain" and "it makes sense for a huge thing with a sword to do much more damage than a small thing with that same style of cord" is one reason I am extremely glad we have done away with "PCs and Monsters use the same* rules".

*modulo a fudge factor and numerous special abilities available only to monsters, naturally.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Themetricsystem wrote:

Weapons of irregular size can currently only be used FLAT OUT by Barbarians of the Giant Totem.

Weapon Damage scaling for creature size has always been ripe for abuse and it only ever served the most munch-of-kin PCs.

This is one grave I am truly glad to never dig up again.

I disagree on so many levels.

As a GM, damage dice helped differentiate between weaker and stronger creatures and the types of attacks they had, and it's still used in PF2.

In my experience as a player, Vital Strike and similar damage dice "shenanigans" have always proved inferior to typical optimization tactics. In fact, the only real beneficiaries of damage dice is a wider range (and slightly higher average) of damage for those who can't get multiple attacks in. Why roll 4D8+6 when you can roll 1D8+30?

Lots of reasons.

One, you want variable results, but in a predictable, reliable distribution curve: multiple dice yield that, a single die doesn't. 1d8 plus a large <X> suggests you might as well not roll- the die result is largely irrelevant.
10-38 is a very different range from 31-38

Two, you don't want average damage to be that high. 4d8+6 is, on average, about 24 points, while 1d8+30 is 34.5. That's a pretty big shift in output.

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Three, the way weapon damage works via magic weapon properties in PF2 is crazily skewed. Forcing small characters down a die type makes them useless as martials (and several types of caster, given how much lower cantrip damage is). Similarly, larger damage dice for bigger weapons inordinately favors big weapons with stacks of buffs on them even more so than PF1 did with enlarge, lead blades, etc.

PF2 already has a problem with several weapons being useless, because there are significantly better weapons in the same category. Punishing small characters for existing by shrinking damage dice or prevent access to bigger, better weapons just shuts them out of part of the game. Most of the small ancestries are already hit with a strength penalty, why double dip?

By the time even +2 weapons are rolling around, the weapon problem is already really apparent, ranging from 3d4+2 (5-14) to 3d12+2 (5-38). Exacerbating those numbers even with just small and large sized weapons makes things incredibly ridiculous, especially since monster HP doesn't change. Introducing small and large weapons into this mix just changes the game to hard mode and easy mode.

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